Always Aubrey: August 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

#TheMindyProject is the best new show this year! @MindyProjectFOX @mindykaling

I had the luck of previewing the pilot for The Mindy Project on Hulu Plus... and I can't wait to watch it over and over.  Yay!  I'm a huge Mindy Kaling fan and I am super excited about this show for many reasons.

  1. It's written by a woman, and written well.  Woohoo!  Go Mindy!
  2. Mindy, as the lead, is a woman, minority, thirtysomething, and a doctor.  Um, hello?  She's awesome!  It's not reality TV.  It's not an overprivileged high schooler reboot pilot.  She's not a stereotypical rom-com unlucky-in-love gal.  She's a kickass woman who just happens to suck at the love game.
  3. All of the pop culture references... it's like Gilmore Girls grew up, and I own that entire series.  Seriously, I eat it all up.  She speaks the way that real people speak, in a celeb-obsessed culture language I understand.
  4. She does normal things, albeit hilariously and over the top.  She has friends with kids, she goes out on her nights off, she cares about her outfits, and she has pals at work and away from work.  She also has a soft side that peeks out.  Normality, at a sitcom kind of level.
  5. It's not annoying.  I couldn't watch The New Girl because it was ridiculous.  I quit watching The Real Housewives because they were so unrealistic.  Mindy writes from life, and you can just tell it comes from a real place, with a bit of creative license.
I just RELATE.  I will be tuning in every week, starting September 25th!  I was worried about the fate of TV when I read my beloved series The Office and Parks & Recreation are ending in the not-so-distant future.  But now I can rest assured... I've got Mindy.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The most amazing thing you will ever smell... #WoodWick

http://www.woodwick.com
My friend VB gave me a candle as a housewarming gift.  Sweet, right?  Well, this candle takes candles to a whole new level.

This candle smells so good, I carry it with me from room to room.  I sniff it when it isn't lit.  I light it all the time.

She got me the WoodWick candle Warm Woods trio, in Fireside, Redwood, and Sandalwood Clove layered scents.  The wooden wick crackles like a fireplace, and the scents transport me to the fun VB, LD, and I have had in cabins and on trips together.

Then I looked up the WoodWick collection online, and found out I can even get diffusers, car scents, and even vent clips in the Fireside scent.  I'm obsessed.  I want to buy a candle for every room in my apartment.  And smell them ALL THE TIME.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Fashion Steals... from #Walmart

You guys, I wish this was a sponsored post... because I am so excited about Walmart today.  I know, I know, it's Walmart.  But I stopped by there today to buy some Sheba cat food (Cally's obsession) when I remembered I needed some new leggings for all the travel I'll be doing next month.  Knowing you can score Danskin leggings for $8, I headed to their women's department... where I was promptly seduced by surprisingly stylish finds.

I am not opposed to buying clothes in unconventional places.  I'm always on the lookout, even on trips to Sam's Club.  Today, I was pleasantly surprised!

I bought a grey striped top (bought it two sizes too big to wear with leggings while flying), a chic dress with a great pattern and length appropriate for work, and a really cute color-blocked top that they offered in multiple colors.

The dress was under $18, and the tops were both under $10.  The color-block tee reminded me of something I'd seen at a department store.  The material feels good too.  And I walked out spending less than I would at Forever 21.

WINNING!  And I guarantee people will ask me where these pieces are from... and I won't hesitate to tell them.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Inspiration from The Iron Lady

Forgive the look... it was the '80s!  (source)
I watched Meryl Streep (one of my favorite actresses of all time!) in The Iron Lady, and I loved her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher.

When they showed her as a young woman, she reacted to her future husband's proposal by saying this:

"I love you so much but I will never be one of those women... who stays silent and pretty on the arm of her husband. Or remote and alone in the kitchen -doing the washing up, for that matter. One's life must matter... Beyond all the cooking and the cleaning and the children. One's life must mean more than that. I cannot die washing up a teacup!"

Oh, I connected.  I absolutely connected.  Because I want to be a mother.  But I really want to have an amazing career.  I am driven, and it makes me so proud and happy.

Life is about choices, and (fictional) Margaret knew what she wanted and wouldn't compromise.  It cost her at times, and she made sacrifices.  She was a wife and mother, as well as Prime Minister.  But she was driven and didn't resign herself to something she didn't want.

source
There are some women who aspire to be amazing homemakers and mothers.  And they hold fast to that dream in the same way, Iron Ladies all the same.  I respect that 110%.  We should all be Iron Ladies in life, and know what we want to achieve.  We should find partners who want to help us achieve those dreams, and go after them.

For me, that's chasing what I want like Leslie Knope.  And eating breakfast food like Ron Swanson.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Mean Girls (and Guys) #ProjectRunway

Make it shorter!  And twirly!
I'm done with Ven.  For real, from what he displayed tonight, he doesn't respect real women with curves.  He can keep designing his one-trick tailored looks for hangers and mannequins.  Ugh.  Don't say proportions are off!  They are REAL!

This was (obviously) the regular people challenge.  Not only that, these are people going through a makeover.  What an opportunity to change someone's life with fashion!

Since I've jumped ship from Team Ven, immediately I had high hopes for Dmitry, Melissa, and Sonjia. I felt like they've been growing on me the most.  As the episode progressed, I just couldn't tell who was winning or losing... I feel like Nathan, Alicia, and Fabio are at the bottom of the totem pole, with possibly Gunnar as another weak link.  But no matter how closely I watched, all the would tape was the personal interactions, not the construction, so until the runway I couldn't tell who I liked!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sephora Haul... new potions!

I LOVE SEPHORA.  I can't get in there and not blow $100.

When I moved, I went through a lot of my cosmetics and tossed things, based on expiration dates (YES, your products expire!) and amount of usage.  I'm always attracted and sucked in by fancy potions.  It's a weakness I have.  But I think over this summer I've discovered a few awesome keepers!

Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel (not pictured):  This has the same active ingredient as Smashbox primer, but it's only $7 a bottle!  I read about it extensively online before trying it, and I've gotta say, it works just as well as the expensive primers out there.  It's my dirty little beauty secret... after all, not many people would own up to putting that on their face!  I don't buy it at Sephora, but it was worth mentioning here.

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream: I was trying to find a good BB cream that would function as an all-in-one tinted moisturizer, makeup primer, sunscreen, and oil controller.  This one is pretty good.  I mix it with a little bit of my Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel to make it go a bit further, since it is pricey.  It works well that way too.

Smith's Rosebud Salve: I can't count the number of times I've seen this in a celeb's "must-have" makeup bag in magazines.  I use it on chapped lips, peeling cuticles/hangnails, and any spot that needs a little bit of moisture and TLC.  It's the cheapest thing on this list, at $6 per adorable little tin.

Benefit Boo Boo Zap:  I love this clear liquid with salicyclic acid for treating my sporadic blemishes.  It really does zap them quickly, drying them up so they aren't so noticeable.

Benefit Stay Don't Stray Eye Primer:  I got a free sample of this from Sephora, then had to come back for the bottle!  I'd used a MAC paint pot previously as an eyelid primer, but this Benefit product goes under the eyes too as a brightener!  I swear it makes my eyes pop, and bags under my eyes go away.  I am hooked.

NARS Lip Color:  I have two NARS Lip Pencils and one Lipstick.  The Sephora ladies were able to help me find some neutral, work-friendly colors, as well as a gutsy red that went with my overall look.  The lip pencils are awesome, the easiest lip color I've ever found.  Lips were really the missing piece to my beauty routine, because I always pick the wrong colors at the drugstore.  That's why I needed to test them out at Sephora!

Stila Lip Glaze Trio:  I love this gloss!  It comes in some fabulous colors, and I was able to pick some up in a mini three-pack at Sephora.  It's the perfect way to test out colors.

Buxom Lip Polish (not pictured):  I got a great sample of Buxom lip gloss, to add to the full-size version I already had from a wedding I was in.  This tingling, pretty gloss plumps your lips and looks great.  I like to use this or Stila Lip Glaze on top of my matte NARS lip colors.  Neither glaze is overly sticky, either.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment (not pictured): I put this on my lips every night!  It feels so smooth and luxurious.

Oh, and in case you were wondering about cosmetic expiration dates, here's a handy guide...  most last less than a year.  So toss away!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Slumber Party and Slutty Brownies

Slutty Brownies
Saturday night I had an EPIC GIRLS NIGHT!  My pal VB and I needed a night to ourselves... so we had a delicious dinner at Jonathan's Grille (super extensive menu!) then headed back to my place to change into PJs and break out the wine.

It was the perfect gab fest, drinking wine, watching chick flicks (Clueless, P.S. I Love You), and baking Slutty Brownies.

Slutty Brownies are a recipe I have been dying to try.  I saw them on Pinterest via the Londoner and they looked like their name... oh so easy, and a little bit filthy.  And OMG.  They were insane.  They were amazeballs.  They were the devil's creation.

Did I mention there was wine involved?  And that we were drinking out of Tiffany glasses while wearing yoga pants?  Ha!

Slutty Brownies (fills a 9x9 pan)
adapted from The Londoner and She Makes & Bakes

1 box of brownie mix (or make your own!)
1 box of cookie dough mix (or make your own!)
16 Oreos (I used the 100th Anniversary Birthday Cake Oreos!)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Make the cookie dough and brownie mix separately, as described on your box or per your personal recipes.  I would add a little extra vegetable oil to the cookie dough, since this cooks for a while and you want it moist.

Then, in your 9x9 baking dish (lined or sprayed depending on how you want to cut these later!), layer the cookie dough, then the Oreos, and lastly the brownie batter.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, then let cool for 2 hours.  (Okay, this is the part where I cut the brownie after resting for 10 minutes and it was a chocolatey gooey mess.  We ate them this way, with Tahitian vanilla bean gelato on top.  Unreal!  But if you want to cut these into bars, WAIT FOREVER.)

Delicious.  And sinful.  And heavenly.  Can something be both? :)

EPIC NIGHT OF FUN!  And I'm wearing a Beauty & the Beast
sweatshirt.  The Disney version.  #winning

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Photo Shoot Challenge #ProjectRunway #TeamMelissa

Lifetime
I feel worthy of watching Project Runway this week.  I hemmed pants and repaired two tops on my sewing machine, as well as cut out a dress pattern for my first sewing project in months.

The hard part about TEN seasons of Project Runway?  Coming up with original ideas for the challenges.  More "women on the go" workwear?  At least it's a team challenge and a collection, vs. last challenge.  And I love when it's Nina Garcia being a "lead" judge for a challenge.  The photo shoot twist was pretty interesting though.  It's hard to make editorial looks that work in the real world.

As for the team selection... WHO WOULDN'T PICK VEN FIRST?  And it feels like schoolyard kickball picking.  These designers took it very personally.  I say, someone has to be picked first and last.  Just don't let the emotions get in the way!

Raul was driving me nuts.  He was all for himself when everyone else was aligned to a cohesive collection.  On the other team, Gunnar was trying to make himself heard, and Nathan and Christopher were dictating.  I was surprised Ven wasn't louder, but I think he realized that he was safer than the others and ought to just contribute the quality work he usually does.  But his team seemed to have it together.  Sonjia's team was CRAZY in Mood!  As time passed, however, it seemed like "Team 6" had the right idea to play to everyone's strengths and "mix" looks.  "Team 5" had great colors picked out initially, but their Mood selections made me question their direction.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

10-Day Challenge RESULTS

So the 10-Day Challenge is officially over after yesterday, and I've measured the results!  I've gotta say, I was a little nervous about what they would look like... after all, by openly blogging about this, I kind of had to stick to it for my "reading public", right?

I lost 4 lbs, and a total of 5 inches!  (Specifially TWO inches from my belly!)  This is the most weight I've lost in a LONG time, and it usually takes me a month to do so.  But if you remember, I wanted to lose those belly inches, specifically, whether or not I lost the pounds... my strength training has been a focus lately.

Now, I'm back in my size 8 skinny jeans!  (I just want to make them a little looser...)  Size 8 is my happy place... it's where I feel pretty, feminine, and comfortable.  Buying all those size 10s was an eye-opener for me.  I don't want to go back.

You see, in December of 2011 I hit my highest weight  of 160 lbs.  On my frame, and as out of shape as I was, that was not where I wanted to be.  (And there's tons of photo documentation, since I was in Lindsey's wedding then!)  Lindsey has been so supportive of my journey to fitness and health, and I've had my ups and downs... at one point this year, I was down to 150, but when I started this challenge I was back up to 156.  (I didn't share this earlier because I wasn't sure I wanted to!)

During this 10-day experience, I learned that what they say is true... 80% of weight loss is about diet, the other 20% about exercise.  I didn't exercise as often as the challenge asked me to... willpower.  And I had a few moments of weakness on the weekend where I went off-diet... willpower.  Argh.

But what I've learned is that if I focus, plan my meals and snacks, hold myself accountable (with my buddy Lindsey!), and have some WILLPOWER... I can get to my ultimate goal.  And food isn't a reward for me anymore... as it was bluntly put to me, I'm not a dog.  I MAKE MY OWN CHOICES.

I'm not 100% there yet, but I will say that even at 150 lbs. earlier this year, I didn't fit into these jeans.  (The inch I lost from each thigh helped me out, yay lunges!)  I can see that my muscle tone is greatly improved (squats = buttlift, woohoo!), and that my figure LOOKS different.  So I braved the jeans today, and now I'm wearing them to work.  I'm going to continue using the recipes that Lindsey provided me, and track everything in MyFitnessPal to keep me honest.  I hope I have more results to share in the future!

If you're interested in trying out Lindsey's 10-Day Challenge, e-mail her and check out the flyer below! Bloggers with over 200 followers get 50% off, and for September you get a discount if you sign up with a friend.  I also recommend her 90-Day challenges... I've done both Insanity and Turbofire workouts through Beachbody, and they are intense and awesome.

Disclaimer:  I received a 10-day supply of Shakeology and coaching/nutrition guidance in exchange for blogging about my experience.  My opinions are my own.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Shellac me, please!

Traditional manicures are wasted on me.  I LOVE how French manicures look (so fresh! so clean!) but I live an active lifestyle, I'm constantly typing/texting, and my nails aren't the strongest.  So CHIP CHIP CHIP.  My last manicure was for a wedding in December 2011.

Then my coworker JL mentioned a local nail salon that offered Shellac manis for a good price.  I gave it a go, and I got a French shellac for just $30!

What's shellac?  It's a multi-step process where your nails are layered with a special polish and cured under a UV light. The result looks like you have acrylic nails, but you're not damaging your nail beds or using adhesive.  It's supposed to last up to two weeks without chips.

Thus far, my nails have been holding steady for a week, with a little wear and tear but nothing anyone but me could notice.  I'm fascinated by how pretty they are; I catch myself looking at them all the time!  I don't get manicures often... in fact, 2-3 per year is a lot for me!  But I might be more inclined to get them now, since I know they can last more than a few days.

The only downside?  Not sure how removal is going to go!  Anyone out there ever get a shellac mani?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Day 8: Past the weekend!

inspiration from Lindsey
Hands down, the hardest part of the 10-Day Challenge was getting through the weekend.  Not to mention, Duke was in town visiting and we wanted to go out!

So what did I do?  Well, when we went out to eat, while I wasn't completely within my nutrition guide, I really tried to focus on lean protein.  I also drank water, so I didn't waste calories/sugar/carbs on that.  It's hard for me to eat out healthily, not because of lack of options, but because I love bread and fried potatoes in various forms!

That said, I do think I did well over the weekend.  I just had to focus and remind myself of what I'm trying to achieve.  I've realized that SO much of the challenge is willpower, and nothing more.  It's about making a CONSCIOUS DECISION to work out or eat well.  I've been reminded often during this of the things I read in The Power of Habit.

Fortunately, I had e-mails from Lindsey to continue to push me through!   I'm happy with myself for taking on this challenge, and I feel the boost it has given me.  I'm definitely down a few pounds, and one of Lindsey's challengers is down 7 lbs. thus far!  It has already affected the way I grocery shop and the foods I choose when I am out and at home.

The 10-Day Challenge isn't the only service Lindsey provides her clients.  She also has exclusive deals on workout/Shakeology challenge packs.  Check them out below!


Disclaimer:  I received a 10-day supply of Shakeology and coaching/nutrition guidance in exchange for blogging about my experience.  My opinions are my own.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Disappearing Designers #ProjectRunway

Lifetime
So... SPOILER ALERT.

Andrea left in the middle of the night.  She is a teacher in sewing, and she cowardly disappeared like that?  Lame.  Especially since there are so many people dying to be given the opportunity to be on Project Runway.  You know?  And then Kooan decides to make his exit.  Then everyone else who starts crying and lamenting their "plight"?  Is this a result of indulgent parenting where everyone is told they're a winner?!  COME ON.  But at least they brought back Raul, because even though he blew the last challenge, I felt he was better than Kooan, Andrea, and Buffi.

As for the challenge, I thought it was a nice, "normal" challenge where the designers could shine.  I am a "woman on the go" who loves Michael Kors, so why not do a little something-something I could wear as I travel, work, and play?  The minute that Tim said "no wrinkles", I knew everyone was going to look at jersey knits.  And you know what?  That works for me.  I love a great jersey knit.

My impressions on the designers that have managed not to quit? Buffi is a one-trick pony, and they spent a lot of time focusing the camera on her, so I was predicting she'd be the one eliminated.  Her look should be in a Body Central store... not a high end store.  And you know what?  If she had takent the black chiffon from Christopher, it might not have looked so trashy.  I also haven't been able to figure out Fabio's aesthetic at all.  He dresses kind of homeless-looking... what's his angle?  What did he show them before the show to get a spot on Project Runway?

I love Ven's designs.  But he is so into the competition that he is always ready to be critical of everyone else.  He's great, and he knows it.  Can he make it through the competition?  And Christopher seems like he's on downers.  He is not the happy, energetic guy from the first episode.  It's interesting, because  initially I thought he could be a contender.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Day 5: Halfway there!

What I've been wearing to work...
(source)
So I'm sure everyone is curiously about my results thus far in the challenge.  Well, in terms of inches and the scale, I want to wait until the end to share those!  (But I will tell you this... I was feeling so good I wore pencil skirts to work two days in a row and got a TON of compliments!)

I have been working out in conjunction with my healthier eating.  I alternate cardio (swimming or running) with my Les Mills Bodypump classes at my local YMCA.

That said, I can tell you about the other results I've had so far.

I feel full!  I mentioned this in the last post, but what I can't get over is how full I feel while eating more.  In fact, with my snacks, I feel like I am eating constantly... but in actuality, I am taking in FAR fewer calories and food in general.

I can tell you that before the challenge, I saw no problem with eating an Egg McMuffin meal at breakfast (with hash brown, ketchup, and orange juice), a Moe's burrito with a bag of chips and queso, and then picking up some Panda Express orange chicken and white sticky rice on the way home.  Okay, so I wasn't eating out every meal, but that lineup is an example of about how MUCH I could eat on a daily basis.  In addition, the company I work for has tons of free candy available all the time.  I can't even begin to count how much I used to snack on!

I also have more energy.  I don't feel lethargic, like I usually do after my big lunches.  (We eat out or order in a lot where I work...)  I've actually been drinking Shakeology for lunch more so than breakfast, because I am in LOVE with egg whites and turkey bacon.  Lindsey included so many options in my customized meal plan, but I could eat those every day.

Lindsey creates individual meal plans around your allergies and special dietary concerns, but also considers your preferences.  I am not a fish or veggie fan, so while she included some dishes with those items for me to try, she also included equitable substitutions I could use in recipes.  I think that having meals planned out ahead of time has helped enormously; I should plan ALL my meals from now on, so I don't end up eating junk!

Speaking of, I overhauled my fridge and pantry again.  Everything healthy (and perishable) is eye level, the less healthy stuff is almost hidden, and the bad stuff went into the garbage.  My family complained the last time they visited me that I didn't have enough "munchies" laying around... but that's the best way for me to keep my kitchen!  When there are apples, but not potato chips, guess what I eat?

Disclaimer:  I received a 10-day supply of Shakeology and coaching/nutrition guidance in exchange for blogging about my experience.  My opinions are my own.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

$5 J.Crew Shorts

I love clothes.  My closet is organized so I can shop every day as I get dressed!  And so you might think I go a bit crazy spending money on them.

Well, not so much...  I scour clearance racks, online super sales, and even thrift stores.  Here's an example of a haul from my local Goodwill!  For under $15 total, I got a flawless (and super-soft) Tahari tee, pink J. Crew shorts, and Old Navy shorts that look very Lilly Pulitzer.


I shortened the pink J. Crew shorts to be the same length as a blue pair I bought at LOFT outlet... and you can't tell at all that I paid $5 for the pink ones!  Retail price for pink J. Crew shorts right now?  $45.  BAM!

Comparing prices... you can't tell which is more expensive!

So you see... things aren't always what they seem!  I take pride in finding great deals and hidden steals, and then squirreling the way my money into savings and my Roth IRA.  :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Day 3: 10-Day Challenge

I've blogged about Shakeology before, but this time around I asked Lindsey if I could try one packet of Chocolate Vegan in addition to my favorite regular Chocolate packets.  I always make the same recipe, since it's my favorite... a packet of Chocolate, a cup of milk (or almond milk) and a few drops of creme de menthe extract.  It's my "Thin Mint" shake!

I tried Chocolate Vegan on Day 1, and I will say that the texture was a little bit different from what I was used to.  Not in a bad way, but a finer powder like the Tropical Shakeology texture, which is also vegan.  I think the trick is to blend it well with some ice cubes and your favorite ingredients.  I think a little honey makes it blend beautifully.

The good thing about Shakeology is that it fills you up.  Every other time I've tried a "meal replacement" shake, I've felt starving afterwards.  Last night, I had to make myself eat something for dinner, because between my Shakeology, high-protein lunch, healthy snacks, and water, I wasn't even hungry!  That's something new for this carb-loving, "3rd grader's diet" girl.

Another focus during this challenge: healthy snacks.  By having a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack, I'm less likely to go "hog wild" during my meals and overeat.  Lindsey recommends Lara bars, and I really like apples with a little natural peanut butter.  I pack these snacks in baggies before I go to work!

So far in the challenge, the biggest change for me has been appetite.  I've been reading Lindsey's motivational messages (you get one daily, plus 24/7 support in an exclusive Facebook group) and it has helped me stay focused.

Disclaimer:  I received a 10-day supply of Shakeology and coaching/nutrition guidance in exchange for blogging about my experience.  My opinions are my own.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Emmy/Lexus Challenge? #ProjectRunway #TeamVen

Lifetime
Hello, shameless product placement?  The designers are working on a look for the Emmy red carpet, but you have to incorporate the color of the Lexus you are assigned?  WEIRD.

But a team challenge always makes things more interesting!  Especially with such an arrogant group of designers.  Not to mention, they're designing for PAST Project Runway designers!  Gunnar was right on... the hardest people do design for is a fashion designer.  The team pairings were kind of interesting... I felt like the matches kind of gave everyone a shot.  The pairings just didn't seem extremely skewed one way or another.

I did feel that Buffi or Kooan would go home, without even seeing what happens.  Just a hunch, because I felt like they were the weakest links.  I did feel that Alicia and Raul picked an ugly print, so that did worry me a bit.

Of all the dresses, I really liked Ven's team dress (very vintage!) and Elena's team dress (dramatic!).  I felt like those were my picks based on the sewing footage.  I thought Alicia/Raul's scrap dress and Kooan/Gunnar's weird wedding-like dress were weak.  Once I saw the runway, I picked out Ven/Fabio as my favorite, and Alicia/Raul as my least.  But no matter what, my Ven was safe!


Monday, August 6, 2012

Fitness Jumpstart: 10-Day Challenge Day 1!

fittwincities.com
I made a New Year's resolution to get in shape this year... and since I'm the average American, I haven't kept my promise to myself.  At one point I'd lost 10 pounds, but now after 7 months I have only kept 5 of those off.  I'm proud that I've kept those 5 off, but I'm still not feeling right in my clothes, still wanting to get even better.

So I signed on to a 10-Day Challenge with my Beachbody coach, Lindsey.  I've done her challenge before, as well as tried Shakeology, and I felt it would be a great jumpstart to getting back on track.  Unlike my resolution, my goal for the rest of this year is to lose some inches from around my belly, and tone up in general.   I'm already seeing results from my Les Mills Bodypump classes at the YMCA.  (I look like I got a booty lift.  For real.)

Why do I want to do this?  I want to feel good about how I feel in my clothes, which are currently too tight.  I love my size 8 jeans, and I love that after being a late bloomer I finally have some curves.  So my motives are a little vain, but I am at the age where I need to get fit so I can healthily maintain it later on.

My challenges will be finding a happy medium between my good and bad habits.

Good Habits:

  • I wake up early, and I have plenty of time to work out before work.
  • I drink mostly water, and usually get my 8 cups per day.
  • I got a YMCA membership, and the gym is right across the street from my apartment
Bad Habits:
  • I have a tendency to wake up, then find an excuse not to work out.
  • I am sedentary (seated) most of the time at work and at home.
  • I love large portions of bad foods (carbs!!!) and when I "break" my healthy streaks it's a slippery binge slope.
For the next 10 Days, I plan to follow the nutrition guidelines provided by Lindsey, work out 8 out of the 10 days, and track my beginning and end weight/inches.  I will track my food in MyFitnessPal.  Wish me luck strength and willpower!



Disclaimer:  I received a 10-day supply of Shakeology and coaching/nutrition guidance in exchange for blogging about my experience.  My opinions are my own.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Williamson County Fair

I had guests again this weekend.... my college buddy KH and her friend ME were in town for a wedding, and they crashed at my place.  I already had plans with another college friend, JC, to check out the Williamson County Fair.  We had a blast taking in a little bit of down-home Americana on a hot day in Tennessee.
Showing cattle...

This cow loved chin scratches!

HEARTBURN...  Fried Oreos, fried pickles, fried onions, and funnel cake!
And that wasn't all they served that was fried...

Friday, August 3, 2012

I am more than a test score! :) #infographic

Remember when I wrote about my history of test anxiety?  I've always performed well academically, but I've never really scored accordingly.  Here's a fascinating infographic that designer Allison sent me on the subject.

from Accredited Online Colleges: www.accreditedonlinecolleges.com
standardized testing infographic
attribution link: http://www.accreditedonlinecolleges.com/blog/2012/standardized-testing

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I LOVE OLYMPICS!

1996

In the summer of 1996, I was in Hawaii visiting family.  But instead of going to the beach, I was riveted to the television, watching the “Magnificent Seven” women’s gymnastics team take the gold for Team USA.  I still remember every girl on that team (Dominique Moceanu’s “Devil Went Down to Georgia” floor routine, Shannon Miller on beam, Dominique Dawes on uneven bars to name my favorites).  And who could forget Kerri Strug on vault, sticking a landing on one foot to support her teammates and go for that medal?  Remember Bela Karolyi?

This year, I was once again glued to the TV screen watching women’s gymnastics.  To see Jordyn Wieber’s heartbreaking failure to qualify for the all-around (her teammates who did are just as deserving, though it is hard to see anyone so disappointed), then to see her rally in the team finals to help the USA bring home their second Team Gold?  THE OLYMPICS MAKE ME CRY EVERY TIME!  SO HAPPY!

2012
What gets me so emotional about the Olympics?  These people are living out their dreams.  When one person fails, another one achieves their ultimate goal.  You’re heartbroken and ecstatic for everyone all at the same time.

Plus, if you’re like me, as an American you totally get bragging rights for athletic accomplishments that are entirely not your own.  Vicarious athleticism!

I don’t watch sports on TV.  But every two years, when the Olympics are televised, I watch sports I’d never paid attention to before.  And if you combine the amount of time I spend watching those Olympics, it’s probably the same amount of time I spent watching sports during the two in-between years combined.
I’m not the only one, right?

P.S.  TOTALLY makes me feel ancient that none of this year's gymnasts on the team were old enough to remember the 1996 Olympics.  Yikes!

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